Kids Voting: Students weigh in on election
By Kaleb Wilkins-Woods
Four candidates from District 3 are competing to represent Colorado in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 3rd Congressional District covers most of western and southern Colorado. Of the seven congressional districts, the 3rd is very important to Colorado’s future in agriculture, water and energy.
The four candidates are independent Jake Segrest, Libertarian Gregory Gilman, incumbent Democrat John Salazar and Republican Scott Tipton. Each candidate was asked the same questions: What is your most important issue? And what are your views on that issue?
Segrest is a business owner, cattle rancher and retired veteran who lives in western Colorado. He believes the economy is the biggest issue and the economy’s biggest enemy is regulations on businesses. He said, “The economy is an issue that took over 30 years to destroy and we can’t expect it to take any less time to fix.”
Segrest also said other candidates are merely out to maintain the status quo, which he deems not good enough and is the reason he decided to run.
Gilman said: “The failure of Congress has led to many of the problems we face as a nation. The inability to effectively manage the country has led to annual budget deficits, increasing debt, conflicts around the world, a failing economy, job losses and a devalued dollar.”
He said he strongly believes that Congress itself is a failed institution, which needs to be checked and regulated. Gilman, a practicing engineer with a degree from the University of Colorado, is a farmer living in Custer County.
Salazar, a potato seed farmer and cattle rancher, is the current representative of the 3rd District and is finishing his third term. Salazar is a former member of the House Committee on Agriculture.
He said, “One of the most pressing issues many Americans face is the downturn of the economy and the impact it has on every aspect of what happens in their lives.”
The role he says he would play is to provide conscientious votes and leadership on federal measures that would make a difference in assisting the economy.
Tipton said: “The hard-working families of the Third Congressional District need jobs. Our federal government has a responsibility to our families to get out of the way and allow the genius of the free market to flourish.”
He said he would “get government out of the way and bring more jobs back to our community.” Tipton attended Fort Lewis College in Durango and lives in Cortez, where he co-founded Mesa Verde Indian Pottery.
One of these candidates will represent Colorado in the 3rd Congressional District. It is up to the people of western and southern Colorado to make an educated decision about whom they choose to represent them and their district as the state faces critical issues such as agriculture, water and energy.
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Kaleb Wilkins-Woods is a senior at Fruita Monument High School who is reporting on election issues for The Daily Sentinel in conjunction with Kids Voting of Mesa County.